I firmly believe that a farm day, even in darkest winter, is good for the soul. When we feel low or when things seem stressful or when winter has just been too long...we head for a farm get a little pick-me-up. Farms and farmers have a vibrant steadiness about them, a sense that even though the rest of the world may be doldrums and grey there are still energies and happenings inside the privacy of the barn.
We saw a mama sheep, tucked into a warm indoor stall with plenty of hay....just waiting to lamb. We'll have to check and see if she has one lamb or twins the next time we're up. The boys were pretty happy just to be lifted over the half door of her stall and peek at her expectantly. We poked around a little more the way you do in barns, dodge sparrows flying in and out the doors heading for the rafters, climb the ladder to the haymow and then come back down backwards, open the feed bins and peer in at the big mounds of grain pellets. All good things.
We bought milk, piled on a few cartons of eggs, took an apple each for snacking, we oggled yogurt (and I promised myself I'd make some) and I talked them out of chocolate milk. We noticed a pile of freshly washed spiles in the dairy, read a brochure about the expensive and select maple syrup program they're running and smugly remembered our time up north at my parents house tapping trees with Big Grandpa.
And after paying for our goods we wandered off through the snow and mud puddles to explore the door of the open greenhouse. So lovely. Greenhouses, farms, Panera Bread. My survival techniques. I think we need to hit up another one sometime very soon. There is something so very healing about the green and alive. I worked in a greenhouse for a little while and even thought I largely did just grunt work, I LOVED it. I still think about that business sometimes and wonder if they are still running. Going to "work" in the middle of January and spending all day trimming blooming geraniums and watering seedlings is a wonderful way to spend your time.